FlexiSpot E4L L-Shaped Standing Desk Review
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If you want to spend less than a grand on an adjustable-height L-desk then the Flexispot E4L is definitely worthy of your consideration. You’d just need to be OK with the significant effort required for installation, and with the very limited choice in configurations. The FlexiSpot L-Shaped standing desk starts at $959.99, comes in one size, has a weight capacity of 330 pounds and features a bamboo top. But that’s it for choices. Other height adjustable L-desks come in thousands of configurations, assembly with a fraction of the effort and use far nicer components and more recent technology – but cost substantially more.
|MSRP / List Price||$959.99|
|Street Price||Scan for available discount deals|
5 years for frame and motor, 2 years for controller and electronics
Three electric motors
1.5″ per second
Three height memory presets, standing reminders and anti-collision
55″ x 76″ x 24″
Height range: 22.8″-48.4″ including 1″ desktop
|Typical Assembly Time||
Should take two people about 90-120 minutes to complete, with proper tools
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|User Reviews||User Reviews on Flexispot.com (curated)|
|Where to buy||
Buy on FlexiSpot
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||This FlexiSpot E4L L-Shaped Standing Desk review reveals a full-sized L-shaped standing desk with three legs for the solid stability that three legs give. The $959 price tag makes it very competitive against the rest of the options in the same price range. The desk's height adjustment range is within the ergonomic guidelines recommended by the ANSI/BIFMA G1-2013 standard.|
|Negatives||There are very limited options in style with colors and shapes. Assembly is a significant hassle, and if you have to return it, even more so. And if something goes wrong outside of the warranty, you'll be left needing to buy a new desk. If you have the budget, you may want to upgrade to higher quality materials and construction from American or European manufacturers.|
A New Entrant In The L-Shaped Standing Desk Category
We generally admire FlexiSpot’s standing desk products for their design and construction quality within their price tier. Like their mainstream 2-legged standing desks, none of these standup desks are award-winning premium-grade contenders, but for their price point they’re quite competitive with other major online brands, and the company stands behind their products (see all our FlexiSpot standing desk reviews).
One Size, One Color, Two Shapes
Because all FlexiSpot products are brought over from China on container ships, they usually don’t offer a lot of color and size options. This is not like an American-made desk that you can customize to your heart’s content (e.g. iMovR’s sit-to-stand L-desks come in literally thousands of variations, rapidly made-to-order). Still, we wish FlexiSpot would offer more than just a single size and single option in desktop finish. That said, if its size and décor works for you, it’s a very inexpensive option.
The only other option you have is if you want to have a concave curve in the main desktop instead of a straight user edge. You don’t have to decide if you want a left or right L-desk when ordering, as that can be chosen when the desk is assembled. This is a great feature found on very few L-desks; on most of them if you chose a left side return and then changed offices or office layout and need it on the right side, you basically have to buy a new sit-stand L desk and sell or give away your current one.
The FlexiSpot E4L L-Shaped standing desk only comes in one size, 55” x 76” x 24”, and starts at $959.99, which is on the lower end for L-desks, but expected from the generally lower quality of Chinese manufacturing.
The desk has three electric lifting columns each rated to 110 lbs, giving it a total weight capacity of 330 pounds and a transit speed of 1.5 inches per second. The height adjustment range is 22.8″ to 48.4″, including a 1-inch desktop thickness. That puts the desk within the ergonomic guidelines recommended by the ANSI/BIFMA G1-2013 Ergonomic Guidelines standard.
(Being an e-commerce brand, as opposed to commercial contract furniture company, FlexiSpot ordinarily doesn’t bother certifying their desks to the ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2021 quality and stability standard. But given that this is an L-desk, stability is not in question; pretty much all 3-legged standing desks are as stable as the Rock of Gibraltar and running an ANSI/BIFMA certification test on them would be moot.)
The only top available for the FlexiSpot L-Shaped standing desk is made of bamboo, a popular yet environmentally controversial, super low-cost material (learn about alternative desktop options in our primer on standing desk tops). The base frame for the standing desk comes in black or silver.
The Controller Handset
The keypad controller mounted under the desk can store three different heights in its memory for the user’s preferred sitting or standing positions. It also features a sit/stand reminder system to help users remember to keep their body moving throughout the day.
This controller has an extra button that you don’t see on too many other competitors’ standing desks, which is the “A” button (for Automatic Long-Time Sitting Reminder feature). We’ve only really seen this feature on premium American-made standing desks like the Lander, Lander Lite and ZipDesk before, although most users program the feature and receive notification prompts through their smartphones (requiring a Bluetooth link, which FlexiSpot standing desks lack) and/or through lights on the handset. The FlexiSpot E4L L-shaped standup desk’s controller instead has a buzzer built in that sounds off somewhat annoying beep sequences when the timer has counted down. It’s a lot more obtrusive than the method used on premium standing desks but is nevertheless a function not found on other Chinese-made standing desks so far.
The desk includes anti-collision technology to automatically stop and reverse the desktop if it detects unexpected obstacles while in motion up or down, enhancing safety and preventing damage to office surroundings or equipment. This is a pretty standard feature in good standing desks nowadays, and good to see it wasn’t left out. Given the total weight of an L-shaped standing desk this is actually a critical safety feature. See our primer on anti-collision and anti-tilt features in modern standing desks (the FlexiSpot L-desk does not include a tilt sensor).
A major criteria for most standing desk buyers is ease of installation, and as a general rule of thumb the cheaper the desk, the more labor is being transferred from the factory in China to the customer in the US. Probably the biggest obstacle to sales of standing L-desks is the difficulty of installation on most (not all) models.
Installing a FlexiSpot L-desk looks to be pretty standard for most of the L-shaped sit-stand desks in this price range. While the snazzy animated installation video looks like it’s a snap, following the instruction manual should take two people about 90-120 minutes to complete, require a powered screwdriver and a drill to pre-drill pilot holes, and much of the work will have to be done on your back.
Some users reported so much difficulty with the poorly written instructions that it took them four hours to assemble the E4L sit-stand desk, with a lot of frustration along the way. We could easily see that happening given the exceedingly small visuals and terrible English used, to the degree that there are any words at all describing each step.
As is somewhat typical of Chinese-made standing desks, the manuals are in small black-and-white format, designed to save a few pennies by being printed on as few pages as possible; the FlexiSpot L-desk manual is no exception, and the only way installation could be described as “easy,” like FlexiSpot claims, would be if the installer has had a lot of prior experience building sit-stand L-desks. Remember, one of the key reasons why this desk is so relatively cheap is that the labor to assemble it is entirely on you.
The website does inform users that “No support brackets or dogbone bolts for desktops in the package, you may need to buy some depends on your needs” and that “Some steps may require a drill.” We can affirm this is true, but where it’s buried on the Specs tab of the product page may go unnoticed by buyers who read the claim of “easy installation” and called it good.
It will definitely help to have an assistant in the assembly process, especially when drilling pilot holes and driving in screws from the bottom. It can be hard to get the two desktop pieces to align their heights, creating a ridge where the two pieces meet that can drive someone with OCD nuts. We recommend using C-lamps to hold the desktop to the base and keep the two desktops level with each other, on a desk of this nature. You will want to add a couple of support brackets of your own to force the two desktop pieces to be level with each other as much as possible.
Another oddity we find with the installation instructions (printed and video) is that they were created with the image of a single L-shaped piece of wood, when that is not the product being sold. The most glaring deficiency in the instructions is how to install the two desktop parts that did arrive with it. The shape of the desktop matches this one image of the desk that is in the photo gallery, albeit nothing of this shape can be ordered from the website:
FlexiSpot installation instructions on more complex desks like this one are generally so bad that even the majority of 5-star reviews we find on other FlexiSpot models frequently complain about it, and about how long it took them to figure out how to assemble the product. Sometimes with a trip to Home Depot required for extra parts. To be fair, this is par for the course not just for FlexiSpot, but candidly for most all of the native Chinese brands selling office fitness gear online.
We don’t find this surprising given the typically low machining tolerances on a desk in this price range and the relatively terse instruction manual. Most L-shaped standing desks at least come with pre-drilled pilot holes to make the arduous assembly job a little easier, and ensure a proper fitting of the tops to the base. (In sharp contrast, higher-end, American-made L-desks like the Lander L-Shaped Desk can be assembled in just 13 minutes by one user, with no tools needed other than a screwdriver for one last step.)
It also bears mentioning here that most L-desk designs do not use the same long foot for all three T-legs. As a consequence of FlexiSpot using the same foot design on all legs, and the relatively small size of this desk, it not only looks a little funny but can be a little constraining on how much you can move around in a standard caster base office chair without banging into one of the feet.
FlexiSpot offers a very short warranty compared to top-rated standing L-desks: five years on the frame and motor; two years on the controller electronics. The return period is only 30 days, which is pretty standard at this price point (top-quality standing desks can come with as much as 100 days, giving you sufficient time to really see how they perform). The good news is FlexiSpot will pay for return shipping and not charge a restocking fee “as long as the desk is like-new”; so you’ll want to be mindful of holding onto all the original packaging until the 30 days are up. Any damage in return freight is on the customer, which is a significant risk given that the packaging was not designed for more than a one-time use.
An Even Cheaper Option Now Available From FlexiSpot
FlexiSpot also offers a 2-legged “l-desk” for only $499, called the FlexiSpot E1L, which we’re reviewing separately. We wouldn’t really call it a true L-desk when it has only two legs instead of three; it’s really more of what is termed a “pork chop desk” in the industry.
The odd thing about the E1L is that it comes with two desktop pieces. This is likely because UPS and Fedex won’t accept parcels big enough to ship the desktop as a single-piece. The two feet on the desk are of different lengths—giving the desk kind of a goofy look—but this is necessary in order to avoid tipping risk. Look for our separate review of the E1L standing desk shortly.
If you want to spend less than a grand on an adjustable-height L-desk then the FlexiSpot E4L is definitely worthy of your consideration. You’d just need to be OK with the significant effort required for installation, and with the exceptionally limited choice in configurations. As this is a new model for the company, there aren’t a lot of user reviews published as yet. But FlexiSpot makes literally dozens of low-cost standing desk models (you’ll even find some at Costco) and does stand behind their product better than most “remote control” Chinese factories that don’t even have US offices or phone numbers.
High quality L-shaped standing desks can be very pricey, to be sure. The FlexiSpot L-shaped desk appears to be a good option at its price point, but this is where the consumer has to weigh that benefit against other cons. Consider the limited size and color options, difficulty of assembly, and the general hassle of disassembling and shipping back the desk or failed component if anything goes wrong, whether during installation or within the warranty period. If anything goes wrong outside the warranty period you’re probably going to just junk it and upgrade to something more reliable.
This is where our standing desk review experts would say it might be worth considering springing for a higher-quality unit that gives you more configuration options, nicer fit-and-finish, stronger and quieter motors, much easier installation and a 10-15 year warranty. Adjustable L-shaped desks is clearly one product category where American-made desks stand head and shoulders above the imports.